Understanding the Essence of Work

A Follow-up to “Welcome to the New Age of Work”

In my first essay on Work (with a capital W), I presented the notion that work is essential for scaling Maslow’s pyramid of Needs, that work helps us understand what we like, what we’re good at doing, what kinds of people we enjoy working with, what matters to us, etc.

The Art and Energy of Work

One of things I’ve noticed about Work is you can see it.

This is a photo of the author, Mark Abbott, sewing his original art canvas onto its frame, ready for display.
This is a photo of the author, Mark Abbott, sewing his original art canvas onto its frame, ready for display.
Me, stitching the canvas I painted onto its support, ready to hang and enjoy.
Works of art I painted that adorn the master bedroom of a house I once built and sold.

Executive Summary

  • Work (with a capital W) is unique to each individual.
  • Work can be almost anything you love to do — something others value so much that you get to be paid for doing that thing you do so well.
  • If it is work (with a lowercase w), we can see it. We can smell it. We can taste it. It lacks the essence, art and energy of true Work.
  • When we have a goal or need, and if we want or need someone else to fulfill it, we must let them do their Work. We fail ourselves and others when we try to micromanage people, or worse, take their work from them and do it ourselves.
  • The essence of Work takes many forms, each worthy of recognition.

Action Steps

  • Consider what Work energizes you, then find ways to do more of it.
  • If you lead others, find out what Work they love to do. Find more ways to incorporate their gifts of Work into what they do.
  • Seek out opportunities to set the stage for Work, to set people up for a positive experience.
  • People take great pride in their Work. Acknowledge them for doing so.

Mark Abbott, founder and visionary at Ninety.io, is a sought-after business leader, writer and executive team coach. Follow him at https://markabbott.global.

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